Sunday, May 08, 2011

The Tourist

I didn’t pay much attention to the reviews for this movie when it came out, but I’m under the impression that they weren’t very good. Not surprisingly, I thoroughly enjoyed it.


Johnny Depp, in a very restrained performance for him, plays an American tourist, a college math teacher from Wisconsin, who meets a beautiful, mysterious, and probably dangerous woman (Angelina Jolie) on the train from Paris to Venice. Before you know it, he’s involved in all kinds of trouble, because various groups are trying to capture and/or kill the woman, and they’ve mistaken him for a former associate of her who has stolen more than two billion dollars from a brutal, ruthless gangster.


This movie strikes me as a deliberate throwback to the sort of glossy, glamorous, lightweight suspense movies that were popular in the Sixties, like CHARADE, with a little Hitchcock influence thrown in since Depp’s character is the innocent man caught up in dangerous circumstances through no fault of his own. It reminded me somewhat of a Helen MacInnes novel, too, for the three or four of you who actually remember Helen MacInnes. (Got to do a Forgotten Books post on one of her novels one of these days.)


Anyway, I like that sort of movie, so I liked THE TOURIST a lot. Depp is very effective in his role, and Jolie looks magnificent walking around the picturesque Venice scenery in fancy evening gowns. That’s about all she has to do in this movie, but she does it well. There are rooftop chases, boat chases through the canals, a suitably dastardly villain, and a plot twist or two (predictable but still fun). The whole thing is so airy it threatens to float away at times, but sometimes that’s exactly what you’re in the mood for. If you are, I highly recommend THE TOURIST.

7 comments:

Bill Crider said...

I read a lot of Helen MacInnes novels back in the '60s. Great stuff.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Hard to believe but Helen MacInnes has become a forgotten author. At one time her espionage novels ruled the book racks. "Decision at Delphi" is a fabulous thriller. (as were many others) I'm guilty forgetting about her also.

August West

BISH said...

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed Yhe Tourist. Saw it twice. As you say, a real throwback, but also well done. It didn't hurt that we'd been to Venice the year before (and are heading back this year), so we kept pointing out places we knew...

David Cranmer said...

And I love films like CHARADE. I won't pass this up now.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Must catch this one, for Depp's role and character. Your line "Depp’s character is the innocent man caught up in dangerous circumstances through no fault of his own" reminds me of Leon Uris' WWII novel The Angry Hills; under different circumstances, though.

Meanwhile, what's your take on Thor the movie, Mr Reasoner? I was disappointed with Chris Hemsworth's boyish appearance as Thor as well as with the predictable storyline, but the intergalactic sound effects and visuals were well worth the price of the ticket.

James Reasoner said...

Unfortunately it'll probably be a while before I see THOR. I haven't watched a movie in a theater in years. But it's already on my Netflix queue for when it comes out on DVD, and I like the look of what I've seen so far.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I thought it was based on the Olen Steinhauer book but I guess not.